IBAN – historic development

The IBAN standard was created in the second half of 1990s by the ECSB (European Committee for Banking Standards).  It was based on the international ISO 13616 standard. However, the IBAN standard determined more specific rules, e.g. fixed length of IBAN for concrete country or use of only capital letters. Detailed information can be found in the EBS204 (pdf, 211 kB) standard.

The IBAN register (standard TR201 (pdf, 1,3 MB)) was administrated by the ECBS. Since 2005, the IBAN register has been administrated by the EPC (European Payment Council). The register contained definitions of IBAN made by individual states, factually for the states whose banks determined the IBAN format for their country and registered it in the register. 

In 2000, the Czech National Bank took charge of this initiative and in co-operation with the Czech Banking Association registered the IBAN format for the Czech Republic.

The ECSB and the EPC struggled in the long term for the ISO 13616 standard to be supplemented in the way to be compliant with the IBAN standard. The works on the updating of the ISO 13616 standard were in motion for several years. Finally, in 2007 the new ISO 13616 standard was issued.

In addition to the supplemented rules for the IBAN format, the new ISO 13616 standard defines also an administrator of the register of the national IBAN formats. SWIFT was decided to be the administrator.

In 2007, SWIFT took the role and thus the EPC finished the administration of the IBAN register.

The last version of the IBAN register (standard TR201 (pdf, 1,3 MB)) comes from February 2007. The EBS204 (pdf, 211 kB) standard describing the IBAN standard was fully replaced with the new ISO 13616 standard as well.